LSU’s decision to part ways with head football coach Ed Orgeron at the end of this season is a historic and unprecedented move: a school ushering out a coach with a 74% winning percentage who is a mere 21 months removed from a national championship win.
It is a stunning fall from grace—a bayou-born man who rose from previous failures, claimed the sport’s greatest prize and signed one of the richest contracts in the sport fewer than two years ago.
Friction between Orgeron and the LSU administration is just part of explaining one of the quickest collapses of a football program in the history of the game. How did LSU get here?
More than a dozen people in and around the university spoke to Sports Illustrated, under the condition of anonymity, to share stories that help answer that question.
They paint a picture of a program that began tilting toward disaster last summer during a mishandling of a player-led social injustice march. Others cite Orgeron’s eccentric behavior, both private and public, that remind many of his tenure as Ole Miss’s coach, which ended in 2007. Read the full story about Orgeron’s fall from Sports Illustrated.